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What a Difference a Wash Makes: How to Keep Your Car Looking Good

What a Difference a Wash Makes: How to Keep Your Car Looking Good

Washing your car regularly is one of the best ways of keeping it looking as good as new. Times may be tough for many, but a tighter budget shouldn’t mean that your car has to suffer: washing your car by hand is easy and free, and will keep it looking and feeling new, whether it’s a brand-new model or that used BMW you love so much. You can even get your kids involved and use car-washing as an opportunity to bond with them. So, how do you go about washing a car?

What You’ll Need

It’s best to get everything you’ll need to wash the car before you start in order to avoid having to abandon the job halfway through. So what do you need? Car-wash soap is specially designed for washing cars and is preferable to ordinary soap, which could damage your car’s paintwork. You’ll also need a sponge, a hose, a dry cloth and two buckets.

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Before You Begin

If it’s sunny out, park your car in the shade as the sun could cause it to dry too quickly, leaving streaks on the windows and the car’s body. Make sure that all windows and doors are closed properly to prevent water from leaking inside.

Washing the Car

To begin with, hose your car down to get it wet and prepare it for cleaning. Once you’ve done this, pour some of the car-wash soap into a bucket, and fill it up with water. Submerge your sponge in the soapy water and start washing your car from the top down, focusing on one section at a time. When you’ve washed a section to your satisfaction, hose it down before moving onto the next section.

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Try to keep the entire car wet while you’re washing it by spraying water on it with the hose every now and then. The bottom parts of the car, such as the wheels and the lower bodywork, are usually the dirtiest and should be left until last. As you wash the rest of the car, starting from the top, soapy water will run off the car and loosening dirt on the lower sections, so when you get to the really dirty parts, some of the work will have already been done for you!

Finally, use a dry cloth or towel  to dry your car. This stage is crucial, as you don’t want to nullify your own work by leaving streaks on your car, so be sure to do it properly and use a few dry cloths if necessary.

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It’s inevitable that dirt will build up on a car over time, but by washing your car regularly, you can keep it looking young and attractive, no matter how old it is. If you’re really lazy, you could just bribe the kids to do it for you every now and then!

Featured photo credit:  Car Wash with Flowing Water over Car Body via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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